June 30

Written by Bill Grandi on June 30th, 2021

Do you remember the song, The Gambler, by the late Kenny Rogers? It had lyrics familiar to the gambling trade:

You gotta know when to hold ’em/Know when to fold ’em/Know when to walk away/Know when to run.

Those words are easy to see when it comes to gambling, but when it comes to life? Not so. For example, it took a lot for me to quit (fold ’em) when I played baseball or basketball. I went by the philosophy that the “game isn’t over until the last out.” Even in basketball, when a team is down by 20 points with one minute left, it is hard to stop playing. Least it was for me.

I remember twice in my college career when I folded early. So did the team. So did the coach. Both times we played teams out of our league and it didn’t take long before we all realized we were in trouble and way over-matched. (Ironically, both were before important tournaments).  Finally, in the second half, coach mercifully pulled me and “let” me enjoy the rest of the game on the bench. First time all night I enjoyed the game! 🙂

In the spiritual race/war, there are times we gotta know when to fold ’em and when to walk away or even run. It is one thing to stay and fight; it is a wise person who knows when to get out of Dodge. Yes, fighting sin and temptation and the Tempter is sometimes necessary. But so is running. Running from the temptation. Pulling back to gather strength to fight another day.

There is no shame in running to recoup. There is a problem with giving in without a fight. What I need to remember is that as I fight, God fights right alongside me. He’s got my back. And my front. And my side.  The battle is His; not mine. Victory comes from surrender…to Him. But sometimes that surrender is absolutely essential before victory is realized.

“Father, take my life and help me to fight.  Help me to also know when to run so I can recoup and regather to fight another time, another day.”


6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Diane Ronzino says:

    Great post, Bill. Great analogy.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    I think in life it is important to pick the battles.

    It is important to know what we are fighting for… Our families, sons, daughters, spouses, friends.

    In regards to sin… no doubt avoid it. The closer you stay to the middle of the path, the less likely you are to go past the guardrails.

    Sin is like fraternizing with the enemy… Worse, it’s like loading the enemies weapon who will then shoot you with it.

    The battles are real, there will be wounded soldiers. There will be casualties of this war… but we must never forget the war has been won!

  3. Yes, Bill, we know God fights by our side, but sometimes we need to retreat and reassess what He’s trying to tell us about the battle. With God we all win in the end.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      My point exactly Martha. It is so important that we take a step back occasionally.